Washington Motto: Spend During Good Times and Spend Even More During Bad Times

– April 21, 2020

According to the empirical evidence, there is little doubt that large government debt has a negative, and in many cases an increasingly worsening, impact on the growth potential of a debt-burdened economy.

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The Virtues of Fiscal Discipline

– April 10, 2020

Deficits used to be temporary affairs racked up in exceptional periods as the result of shocks, and paid down with surpluses. Despite years of decent economic growth, public debts in most western countries remain at high levels relative to GDP. Consequently, capacity to respond to crisis – such as natural disasters, wars and the one we are facing now – through borrowing is considerably reduced.

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For the Love of Cronies

– March 27, 2020

Politicians will be politicians, you may say. But unfortunately, we will have to live with the distortions and the debt for decades to come.

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No, We Don’t Need A New Reconstruction Finance Corporation

– March 27, 2020

The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was far from the model of a scrupulous, competent and independent government agency that it is alleged to be.

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Say No to Subsidies

– March 25, 2020

We should just say no to all subsidies, especially at a time like this. The actual harm from coronavirus and the destructive government-ordered business shutdowns cannot be undone by subsidies.

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Sorry, But Stimulus Policies Will Not Work

– March 13, 2020

The most urgent health-related step is for the federal and state governments to remove all restrictions on private-sector experimentation while trying to find solutions to this epidemic.

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The Astonishing Spending Promises of the Political Class (Video)

– February 16, 2020

“Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class,” wrote Frederic Bastiat, “unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in.” This is a good way to think about the spending plans of politicians. …

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How To Disguise a Budget Increase as a Cut

– February 15, 2020

The bottom line is that there is nothing historic about this budget, or these cuts. When we look at it in the cold light of reality, it is just the same big spending, unbelievable assumptions, and fiscal irresponsibility that have, dismayingly, become commonplace.

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The Stakes of Politics are Far Too High

– February 12, 2020

Despite the comedy of errors that was the Iowa Democratic Caucus, not to mention the ambiguity of New Hampshire, the national fervor grows. Bernie Sanders’ strong performance makes him the Democratic frontrunner: his odds of winning the nomination stan …

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Trump Cutting the Budget? Don’t Believe It

– February 11, 2020

It’s like being on a diet and claiming progress because you’re gaining two pounds each month rather than five pounds.

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Unaccountable Accounting in the Pentagon

– January 29, 2020

Even somewhat less than eagle-eyed observers will, if only by virtue of the size of the number, take note: the 2020 budget for the Pentagon is roughly three-quarters of one trillion dollars ($738 billion), and yet it has reported $35 trillion in accoun …

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Should I Keep Fighting the Ex-Im Bank or Give Up?

– January 26, 2020

This week, I was invited to testify before the Board of Advisors of The United States Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Whatever their reasons, I commend them for having me for a stimulating conversation.  As many of you know, I have been and remain an a …

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